Brad Leithauser

Brad Leithauser is an American poet and novelist. A selection of his poems, Between Leaps, has just been published by Oxford.

Poem: ‘Later’

Brad Leithauser, 9 June 1994

The goal I suppose is a steadied mind – to replace with wood and stone and insulated wire what was contrived of flesh and bone, blood and blood’s desire;

isn’t the final end to find that haven where where you are matters as much to me as whether or not, on another block, the wind’s now rousing a tree?

Basically Evil

Brad Leithauser, 12 May 1994

From the outset, ambiguity enfolds The Plum in the Golden Vase, David Tod Roy’s translation of the first volume of the monumental 16th-century Chinese novel Chin P’ing Mei. The title, as he explains in his Introduction, is a ‘multiple pun’ composed of one ideogram each from the names of the three principal female protagonists. It translates literally as Gold Vase Plum. It also ‘puns with three near homophones that might be rendered as the Glamour of Entering the Vagina’. Racy the book certainly is. How one ought to respond to its raciness, however – specifically, to the sexual conquests of its insatiable hero, Hsi-men Ch’ing – remains, like so much else within its pages, open to question.’

Poem: ‘Another Dream’

Brad Leithauser, 7 October 1993

             Unreckonable,           the distance crossed to reach        the dark before this lighted ledge no      deeper than a bookshelf, holding a white beach    with two live finger-puppet figures...

Poem: ‘A Candle’

Brad Leithauser, 10 May 1990

According to your point of view, it stands for love – or hell posed starkly. I’m thinking of the single fellow who cowers darkly, as though with shame, there at the blue-yellow centre of the flame.

Poem: ‘Peninsular’

Brad Leithauser, 7 December 1989

Impulse alone, indicating what might be called a byway off a detour’s detour, led me suddenly to stop the car, rented in Reykjavik the week before,

zip my parka tight to the chin, and, bare hands balled in its pockets, strike off briskly, as though by plan, toward a rough- angled, distant shoreline. Now if

one were assembling, as I guess I was, some sort of file entitled Uninviting...

Ashamed of the Planet

Ian Hamilton, 2 March 2000

In April 1965, Randall Jarrell’s just published book of verse, The Lost World, was reviewed in the New York Times Book Review by Joseph Bennett. Bennett quite liked four of the poems but...

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Paradise Lost

Nicholas Everett, 11 July 1991

During the 18th and 19th centuries verse surrendered its longer discursive and narrative forms to prose and confined itself more and more to the short lyric and the sequence of short lyrics. Much...

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Every three years

Blake Morrison, 3 March 1988

Now that poetry has been brought into the marketplace, and publishers have discovered how to make a modest profit from it, and now that publication outlets can be found in any good-sized store,...

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